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Thailand in March - cotton/linen or synthetic wicking fabric?

Thailand in March - cotton/linen or synthetic wicking fabric?

Jul 27th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,683
Thailand in March - cotton/linen or synthetic wicking fabric?

We will be in Thailand and Siem Reap in late March, early April. We are from the Pacific NW so anticipating how to deal with the heat and humidity. What do you recommend as the best to keep cool - natural fibers such as cotton and linen or synthetic wicking fabrics?

While I'm at it - has anyone used the clothes that have DEET on them - I was told by a salesperson at Eddie Bauer that those are only done on synthetic fabrics because the Deet will eat through the natural fibers.

Even though we are not going until March I expect now might be an easier time to find these items than in Jan./Feb. so am asking now.

Thanks for your help!!
jgg is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,688
I prefer natural fabrics. Some people like the synthetic wicking fabrics, it's a matter of personal preference.

In terms of the insect-repelling fabrics, they are not impregnated with deet (which eats synthetics, not natural fibers) they are impregnated with pyetherin. You can buy this spray and treat your clothing yourself. I did it whne we went to Cambodia. You still need to put repellant on all exposed skin, but I think the spray was helpful.

If you are in the Seattle area, check out the Ex Officio store (with an outlet store in the back room).
Kathie is online now  
Jul 27th, 2007, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Forget the insect repellent clothing. It's a matter of comfort. You will be sweating profusely in anything. Some, like Kathie, prefer natural fiber. I wear the Ex Officio lightweight shirts. They have vents and lots of pockets. Everything will be sweat-soaked. Wicking only does so much.

For th mossies, use DEET and perhaps an anti-malarial drug. We had no problems with Malarone. Neither BKK nor Chiang Mai is listed as a malarial risk, so you will only need the anti-M (for you W of Oz fans) in Siem Riep.

Gpanda is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
Though I usually prefer natural fibers, during summer in Japan, and SEA heat, I've found I prefer fabrics like Coolmax. Cotton t-shirts get sweaty and stay damp on my skin, and I don't like that. Coolmax is always dry, really, at least that's my experience.

I also wear skirts rather than pants most of the time, and when I need to dress up, I have a couple of linen shirts that are nice to wear.
KimJapan is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,076
Without a doubt I'd go for linen....at least for some items.

Here's my thread on it.


many of the modern synthetics clog with sweat and loose their properties after repeated wear and washing.

Linen actually claims to have some insect repellant properties too!
khunwilko is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
For sure natural fabrics! Whatever works for you. You want to try to stay cool. April is the hottest month here in Thailand, and March can get steamy also. For that matter, any month of the year can get steamy here in Bangkok! I'm here right now, and I'm glad I brought lightweight cotton!!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2010, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 40
Having just returned from steamy Southeast Asia, I can say that nothing was particularly comfortable. I had both cotton and Ex Officio clothing. I don't naturally tend to sweat that much, but I was soaked in both! My impression was that the natural fabrics felt less clammy. On the other hand, laundry is very expensive if you have to use the hotel services. When I washed items by hand, the cottons and linens took forever to dry, but the Ex Officio products were usually dry in a few hours. I would choose based on your laundry plans. Oh - loose clothing also helps, whatever the fabric.
ArtsyJudi is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,076
Asia is steamy! - and the humidity can affect drying.

However linen's moisture absorption properties help it to feel dry longer than most - it also dries quicker than cotton.

Most Man-made fibres can dry very quickly but unless they are specialist materials, when damp cling to your body a lot. so feel yuck! In general they don't absorb moisture well so you get sweaty quicker.

It's all down to moisture absorption and keeping the fabric away from the body as much as possible.

If you use a "street" laundry they are very cheap and usually available within a day if you get there early enough.
khunwilko is offline  
Apr 10th, 2012, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,076
updating my thread which was moved after the hectoring comments were removed.

here is the new thread address.

khunwilko is offline  
Apr 11th, 2012, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,076
Just got my linen for Laos made - pair of lightweight pants - perfect for the hot season.
khunwilko is offline  

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